Osamu Dazai is one of the most significant Japanese novelist of the 20th century. ‘Sorry for being born’ (生れて、すみません), the subtitle of one of his works, is his famous life statement. However, it was plagiarized from an obscure struggling poet, Terauchi. When Terauchi discovered, he cried out ‘As if my life has been stolen, I’m destroyed…’ He later disappeared, the date of his death remains unknown.
I (mis)interpret ‘Sorry for being born’ as the aesthetic core of Dazai’s writing. Discovering this plagiarism led to a sense of displacement and fracture within his works, and in my close identification with them. Reconsidering power and hierarchy, ‘Searching For Terauchi’ is a tribute to Terauchi, an acknowledge to the unknown. The use of my medication is a remedy for displacement and fracture, and a means by which I can connect to him.
Image: Cristea Zhao, 2019, Searching for Terauchi #5, St.John’s wort on negative, Ink on paper